Dev Bytes

The much-ballyhooed launch of Windows Server 2003 is overshadowing the simultaneous release of a new version of Microsoft Corp.’s Visual Studio .Net development environment. Even Microsoft acknowledged that the tool is largely an incremental upgrade to Visual Studio .Net 2002. What’s more important is the delivery of the development environment in tandem with the new server operating system, which has the .Net Framework built into it for the first time, said David Lazar, Microsoft’s director of Visual Studio product management.

In the past, developers had to add the .Net Framework to the operating system. Both Visual Studio and Windows Server 2003 will feature the new Version 1.1 of the.Net Framework, which consists of the Common Language Runtime and a unified set of class libraries, including ASP.Net for Web applications and Web services, and ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) for data access. “Having seen it run, it’s going to be a lot faster, and it has richer integration with the operating system,” said Kevin Rice, an enterprise architect at Allstate Financial, a business unit of The Allstate Corp. in Northbrook, Ill.

Still no sign of new Sun app server

Sun Microsystems Inc. launched more than a dozen new products at a recent press event in San Francisco, but missing from the pack was an anticipated high-end release of its application server software. Sun rolled out two lower-end editions of Sun ONE Application Server Version 7 late last year; at the time, officials said they planned to deliver the enterprise edition by the first quarter this year. The product adds features considered important for some enterprise applications, including a clustering technology acquired from Clustra Systems Inc. The enterprise release isn’t among the products on tap for this quarter, however, and a Sun official at the event declined to offer a new release date. Information on Sun’s Web site pegs the product for release in “summer 2003.”

“We’re very interested in making sure the product hits the market well. The first experience developers have with it must be a really good one, so for the sake of ensuring quality or performance we’ll say, ‘Do you make a date or do you take a few more weeks to get it right,'” said Anil Gadre, vice-president of Sun software business management and marketing. He wouldn’t offer details about what might be holding up the release but said Sun may distribute an “early access” version in the next few months.

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